Dr. Varadharajan Sundaramurthy
PhD (Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore)
Post-doc (Biozentrum, University of Basel, Switzerland;
Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden, Germany)
Intracellular pathogens are often considered as master cell biologists. They understand the host cells perfectly and manipulate them in subtle and non-subtle ways to ensure a successful infection. A successful infection is a complicated and fascinating process that entails the entry of the pathogen, establishment and maintenance of an intracellular niche, acquisition of nutrient and development cues, replication and finally exit from the host cell. This whole sequence of events of course occurs within the contours of the host cell, utilizing the host cellular machinery and often in the face of direct counter attacking measures from the hosts. Pathogens and host cells have co-evolved for a long time and hence the host-pathogen interface offers fascinating glimpses into the forces that have shaped the contours of pathogenesis. The broad goal of my lab is to understand the contours of these interactions at multiple levels by studying the modulation of critical host pathways by intracellular pathogens and exploiting the potential of this knowledge for drug discovery.
Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the diseases that has had a devastating impact on human health and economy throughout history, and has significantly shaped our genetics and social fabric. Well over a century after its discovery as causative agent of TB, the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) remains the leading cause of death world-wide by a single bacterial infectious agent. The problem is exacerbated by the rapid emergence of drug resistant strains and co-occurence with other conditions such as HIV, diabetes. Understanding the basic biology of the bacterium and its complex and multi-layered interaction with host cells and tissues is fundamental for developing strategies aimed at containing and curing the deadly disease. In our lab, we study the modulation of critical host pathways that are modulated during Mtb infection. Towards this, we apply a combination of chemical genetics, quantitative image analysis and high content screening tools together with conventional cell and molecular biological approaches.
Contact email: email@example.com. Phone number +91 80 23666620.